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South Bay

I've got to go to Lomita tomorrow to pick up tomato plants.
Where should we have dinner?
Indian, Japanese, Mexican??

Gardena, Artesia, Torrace...

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  1. Lomita would be a great place to try some unique and very Chow-worthy places. All three of my recs are at one intersection, and two of the three are in the same shopping center.

    Gaja Moc: okonomiyaki, monjayaki, parfaits, great beer and sake. You can opt to either have the kitchen prepare you yaki dishes or try your hand at it yourself. Very unique and tasty experience. I'd guess 90% of the eaters there are either from Japan or have a direct connection to Japan, so as you walk through the threshold, it's as if you teleported yourself in one step from LA to Japan.

    Kotosh at Kamiyama: Where else can one get Peruvian food and sushi in one place? Don't laugh! It's not like going into a shop that sells tires and sushi - the logic is there. Peruvians love their seafood. Japanese love their seafood. Peruvian Japanese demand great seafood. Really good Peruvian cuisine from a Japanese immigrant's perspective as well as very decent sushi rolls as well. Sushi-philes would probably turn their nose to their rolls with names "waterpillar," but they're darned tasty if you accept it as food rooted in immigrant hearts and not fine art. The freshness of the seafood plays into Peruvian dishes like tiradito and cebiche. The salsa aji is just right most folks - the flavor is incredible. And the traditional saltados, chicharrons, jaleas and soupy dishes are great as well. They do serve beer (Japanese and Peruvian) and sake as well.

    Patisserie Chantilly: This is your dessert stop, but bring your ice chest and head over here first. In fact, call ahead and order their cream puffs to assure you will squeeze the most out of your trip to Lomita. They offer choux filled with their traditional Chantilly cream, chocolate, or their famous kurogoma (black sesame) cream. The reason you should order these in advance is because they don't make their cream puffs until someone orders them. The choux is baked throughout the day and isn't filled with cream until an order is made. This assures a high level of quality. Depending on how many are in your group, I'd order at least one per flavor per person, maybe even two each on the kurogoma. Chantilly gets a lot of praise for their cream puffs, but if anything else in their case catches your eye, you should probably try it as well. It's all good - literally.

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    Patisserie Chantilly
    2383 Lomita Blvd., #104, Lomita, CA 90717

    Kotosh at Kamiyama
    2408 Lomita Blvd, Lomita, CA 90717

    Gaja Moc
    2383 Lomita Blvd, Lomita, CA 90717

    2 Replies
    1. re: bulavinaka

      I disagree about Patisserie Chantilly. The baked goods, while visually beautiful are painfully lacking in depth and flavor.

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      Patisserie Chantilly
      2383 Lomita Blvd., #104, Lomita, CA 90717

      1. re: OC Mutt

        I personally consider the flavor issue a cultural thing. I've found that the standard taste profile of Japanese-inspired European pastries and desserts to be light. This is pretty consistent with the common flavor profiles of Japanese cuisines. Examples of heavier flavors do of course exist. But in general, flavors are much lighter than most other examples of East Asian cuisines.

    2. The Depot on Torrance Blvd. and Arlington. Chef Mike Shafer is well-known for his food and wine. I like Seashore for Chinese on PCH and Calle Mayor as well as Seafood Town on Hawthorne Blvd. Seafood Port on Hawthorne and Torrance is related but I still like the former the best.

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      Seafood Town
      22922 Hawthorne Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505

      Seafood Port
      21180 Hawthorne Blvd, Torrance, CA 90503

      1 Reply
      1. re: Clinton

        I second The Depot. The food is always excellent and the chef is of a class of cook that normally can only be found in high end neighborhoods in big cities.

      2. patisserie chantilly will be out of cream puffs long before dinner. =(

        gaja+pc makes for a nice outing. i recommend the mushroom okonomiyaki (with added bacon and green onion).

        indian food...can't think of anything in the area.

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        La Villa
        15333 Crenshaw Blvd, Gardena, CA 90249

        Azuma
        16123 S Western Ave, Gardena, CA 90247

        Flossie's
        3566 Redondo Beach Blvd, Torrance, CA 90504

        Otafuku
        16525 S Western Ave, Gardena, CA

        Luna Y Sol
        2140 Artesia Blvd, Torrance, CA 90504

        Shin-Sen-Gumi Shabu-Shabu
        1695 W Artesia Blvd, Gardena, CA 90248

        4 Replies
        1. re: aizan

          >>patisserie chantilly will be out of cream puffs long before dinner. =(<<

          >>This is your dessert stop, but bring your ice chest and head over here first. In fact, call ahead and order their cream puffs to assure you will squeeze the most out of your trip to Lomita.<<

          PC closes at 7:30, and as long as you call and let them know your ETA, they will let you know if that will work. Assuming the OP is going to nursery, a friend's or elsewhere, I'm sure they can work this out - c'mon, have some can-do spirit!

          1. re: aizan

            Throwing in a few other recs from the general South Bay. The Japanese community around this area is too influential to ignore:

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            Il Chianti
            24503 Narbonne Ave, Lomita, CA 90717

            Musha
            1725 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

            Sanuki No Sato
            18206 S Western Ave, Gardena, CA 90248

            Inaba
            20920 Hawthorne Blvd, Torrance, CA 90503

            Kagura
            1652 Cabrillo Ave., Torrance, CA 90501

            Izakaya Bincho
            112 N International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

            Torihei
            1757 W. Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90501

            Asa Ramen
            18202 S Western Ave, Torrance, CA 90248

            1. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3607...

              Check out this megapost.

              For Thai, I like Lomita Thai off of PCH.

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              Lomita Thai Cafe
              1733 Pacific Coast Hwy, Lomita, CA 90717

              1. For Indian (with a Pakistani accent), the really good choices near there would be Al Noor and Al Watan.

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                Al Watan
                13619 Inglewood Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250

                Al Noor
                15112 Inglewood Ave, Lawndale, CA 90260

                5 Replies
                1. re: New Trial

                  Just went to Karachi (Carson east of Western) a couple weeks ago and was seriously impressed. Any idea how it compares with Al Noor/Watan (never been to those)?

                  Karachi's a bit rough around the edges, but ordered the lunch special (a big plate of rice, stewed chick peas, chicken curry and a ground (lamb?) kebab, plus spicy green sauce. And excellent naan. Aside from nearly putting me to sleep for the rest of the afternoon, was some of the best Indian-type food I've had in L.A. (I'm testing out the photo function. I can't decide whether to be proud or embarrassed that I ate all that for lunch).

                  And, that stretch of Carson seems to have quite a few chow-ish places.

                   
                  1. re: cant talk...eating

                    if it were me, i'd be PROUD to eat that much for lunch.

                    1. re: cant talk...eating

                      Not familiar with Karachi but the photo looks good enough to eat!

                      1. re: cant talk...eating

                        Karachi is good. It is by definition, a hole in the wall, bare bones establishment. They have great deals for very good, tasty food.

                        1. re: cant talk...eating

                          I've always wondered about Karachi, but haven't made the time to try the place. Maybe I'll go by there today.

                      2. for indian, for lunch (not dinner),
                        i've always enjoyed the AYCE buffet at BOMBAY GROCERY.
                        this is a TINY hole-in-the-wall, that offers a limited menu of very well-prepared food at astonishingly low prices.
                        Bombay Grocery
                        2040 Pacific Coast Hwy
                        Lomita, CA 90717-2660
                        (310) 326-3248

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                        Bombay Grocery
                        2040 Pacific Coast Hwy, Lomita, CA

                        1. Where in Lomita do you buy your plants? is there something special about them that you go there? I haven't bought my tomatoes yet so looking for a good place.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: sparkareno

                            Laurel's heirloom tomatoes.
                            Amazing online business, sells nationwide. But she is based in Lomita and so if you are local, you can pick up from her. I just can't deal with Tomato mania anymore, too may people. So I was looking for a source of great heirloom tomato plants. She has an astonishing variety that you could never find at a nursery

                            We had a lovely dinner at Sanuki no Sato.

                            1. re: mendogurl

                              Thanks for the update. We like Sanuki no Sato because they do a lot of dishes that are pretty good to very good. Their menu is broad enough to keep things interesting as well as offering at least a few options for just about everybody.

                              Thanks for listing your tomato source as well. My wife has been bugging me to get the raised beds in order. We'll definitely be looking up Laurel's if we get the itch for tomatoes. I've taken the liberty of posting Laurel's website:

                              http://www.heirloomtomatoplants.com/